The Socialite caught up with Taylor to chat about being a songwriter, her changing audience and her success with her latest album ‘1989’, check it out…
“I know that I don’t have the option of making music that sounds just like what I’ve done before,” Taylor Swift tells The Socialite, talking about what went through her head when making her new album, ’1989.’ “People will call me out on it. They’ll see right through it.”
“They’ll see that I was lazy,” she adds with a laugh. “So with this album I definitely changed things up and I think I changed them for the better.”
- So, who was the first person to ever listen to ’1989’ and what was their reaction to it?
I think one of the first people that I played the entire album for was my friend Ella, who goes by Lorde. She’s one of my favourite people to kind of bounce ideas off of — she gives really good advice. Another person that’s heard the entire album is Ed Sheeran. Having friends where who I completely respect their musical opinion is really helpful because they all have their different favourites and stuff, and their different favourites definitely reflect them as musicians, for sure. Ella’s favourite is a song called ‘Welcome to New York,’ and Ed’s favourite song is called ‘Bad Blood.’
- How do you know when you’ve produced a hot track worthy of featuring on the album?
I think the way that I determine whether a song’s good enough to make the album is if I want to keep going back on my iPod and listening to it over and over and over. There are songs that I want to listen to over and over and over, and then there are songs that I kind of just stop gravitating toward after a few months. You never want to be too seduced by the excitement of creating something new that you can’t be critical of it. So I write for two years, and usually most of the stuff that I write in the first six months to a year gets thrown out.
- What lyric from the album are you most proud of?
There’s one song on the album that I wrote with Imogen Heap called ‘Clean,’ and almost every line in that song is one that I’m proud of, so I’m really excited for people to hear that one. And I’m so excited to have worked with her because she’s just, I think, one of the most interesting and unique artists out there.
- This album is quite Pop-based. Did you set out with this genre in mind when working on the album?
I had a few goals going into it. I wanted it to be a sonically cohesive album, and it ended up really being the first I’ve done since Fearless. I also wanted the songs to sound exactly how the emotions felt. I know that’s pretty vague, so I really didn’t know where it was going to go, but I knew that I wanted to work with the collaborators I had such crazy electricity with on Red, like Max Martin. I wanted to do some things that sounded nothing like what we had done before. I realized that I was being inspired by these ‘80s synth-pop elements, so I came up with the title 1989 and clued in everyone that that’s what I was going for, and made sure I was working with a really close team that was up to that.
- Do you feel like your audience is growing up along with you as you grow up being such a young artist?
I’m not trying to be one of them if they’re fifteen, not trying to act like them or dress like them. I do feel more like a big sister, and they ask me for advice and I try to give it to them, whether that’s in an Instagram comment or in a song. The relationship has morphed, changed, and I think as long as I keep telling them an honest narrative of my life, they’ll keep subscribing.